Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 South Broadway, St. Louis; 314-621-8811.

Sep 13, 2006 at 4:00 am
There's an odd television commercial out these days, in which a woman rubs what looks like a stick of Icy Hot on her head. In the background a disembodied voice repeats, "Head On. Apply directly to the forehead. Head On. Apply directly to the forehead. Head On. Apply directly to the forehead." The voice never actually tells you what the purpose of the product is.

But of all the snake oil on the market right now, what we really need is a balm for SAD. Usually, writing this column is a joy. Hell, we get to go out drinking and expense the experience — what's not to love? This week, that's what. Because we've got the SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder. It's a psychological (and, some doctors argue, physiological) thing where the less sunlight you're exposed to, the more depressed you become. June's equinox is bittersweet: We're happy it's the longest day of the year, but SAD because we know that the daylight hours will shrink — if only by seconds — with each passing day. Lightning bugs stay outside longer than kids are allowed to catch them.

We're taking a stand here: Summer is the absolute best time of year. We love gliding on ChapStick in the spring and finding sand still stuck to it from a past vacation. A "sunshine slowdown" is the best reason for a traffic inconvenience we can think of. On the other hand, nobody's ever excited to discover used Kleenex and cough-drop wrappers in their pockets when they lug out their winter coats in November.

With the unofficial end of our favorite season passed, we cross our fingers for an Indian summer and go for oysters and Coronas at Broadway Oyster Bar. By the look of it, eating oysters from the shell is not unlike eating a petrified exhibit from the Museum of Natural History. Oysters are a delicacy, but really you end up slurping them like gritty Jell-O shots, biting into them slightly then swallowing them whole. The hefty shells could double as paperweights, which makes you appreciate the fishermen who haul these guys in by the hundreds. Broadway Oyster Bar serves Louisiana-based AmeriPure's farm-raised oysters, which are 99.9 percent bacteria-free — and that's close enough for us. We order a dozen and slurp 'em down sprinkled with lemon juice and Tabasco; we chase them with Coronas with limes shoved in the necks. Jimmy Buffett's verse from "Tin Cup Chalice" whispers in our head: "Give me oysters and beer for dinner every day of the year and I'll feel fine." We couldn't agree more.

In an era of obnoxious commercials, we love the ones for Corona. There's never pointless dialogue, just a lush seascape that proffers a slice of life that's tranquil, enhanced by beer that a parrot is ready to crack open for your enjoyment. But at this moment, Corona is the taste of a season that's too quickly passed.

"Corona. Apply directly to the SAD. Corona. Apply directly to the SAD. Corona. Apply directly to the SAD."

And we do.